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1972 Chevy El Camino 350 Engine Rebuild - El Cheapo

By , Photography by , , Terry McGean

Hey, look-we turned a $400 nonrunning pile into a $1,256.49 daily drivable pile! Why? Because that's what gearheads do.It all started when a loser buddy was moving out of town and pretty much forced us to overpay $400 for his clapped-out '72 El Camino. The floorpans were really rusty (three holes the size of your head), and the 350 hadn't run in 12 years. Most of the parts that had been removed from the car were stacked in the bed, but the transmission was gone. Overlooking that, we dug the fact that it had no air conditioning, no power steering, and no power brakes-our kind of strippo hot rod! Naturally, we had to have it.

But then we didn't know what to do with it. We eventually decided to just get it running so we could move it around, but it started to grow on us, sort of like the mold on the seat. We threw some swap meet-speed goodies on it, and now it smokes the bias-plies so brutally that we may even have the incentive to keep building it, slowly adding nicer stuff as we can afford it. After all, Car Craft's Cheap Street '70 Chevelle started this way nearly five years ago, and look at it now! Check out how we threw this thing together in five days, and let us know if you want more.

Day One

Day Two

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